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Varilux vs Crizal

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Dr. Marc Weinstein

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When they look for the best lenses, many ask, "Which is better, Varilux or Crizal?” To answer the question, it’s important to understand the difference between these two products. In a nutshell, Varilux is a lens type, and Crizal is a brand of lens treatment. Varilux, a brand of corrective lens by Essilor International, provides progressive correction for near, intermediate, and far vision.

What are Varilux Lenses?

Glasses with Varilux progressive lenses are especially beneficial to older adults who have worn glasses because of nearsightedness or astigmatism and then developed presbyopia or farsightedness.

People in their 40s and 50s, who’ve never had trouble seeing things close to them, can start having trouble reading smaller print. In other words, they become farsighted and, at some point, need glasses for close work and reading. If they already wear glasses to help with distance or astigmatism, their options are switching between two pairs of glasses, getting bifocals, or choosing progressive lenses. Switching glasses is annoying and inconvenient. People lose their reading glasses and must hunt for them or opt for wearing them on a chain around their neck. Many people often choose to get bifocals instead. Bifocals divide the lens into two separate areas for near and far vision and may or may not have an etched line to divide the two. The trouble with bifocals is that switching back and forth between the two lenses can be disorienting, even dizzying. Each time you change, your eyes need to adjust. Going up and down stairs becomes difficult for some, as does taking notes on a page while watching a screen or speaker on a stage. Progressive lenses like Varilux solve these problems because rather than having just two different lenses, they blend the two, creating an easy transition and a more natural sight experience. Each lens is modeled using a computer to design a seamless transition from seeing things close up and those far in the distance. A wearer's eyes will transition from far to near and everywhere between, effortlessly and smoothly.

Released in 1959 as the first progressive lens marketed, Variluz has continued to lead the field in innovation and advancement. Varilux S Series lenses are the most advanced progressives available today. While they provide all of the usual benefits of Varilux lens designs, they also eliminate distortion and provide better edge-to-edge clarity. The patented lens shape and cutting-edge technology from the Varilux S Series lenses actually help people see the way they did before they needed progressive lenses.

What is Crizal?

Crizal, also by Essilor International, is not a type of lens but a coating or finish added to any lenses. A Crizal coating will reduce uncomfortable glare from digital devices, sunlight, and bright lights at night. Sunlight through a window can make working on a document or reading more difficult because of the glare. Adjusting between bright digital light from electronic devices and a book or the road ahead can also cause problems. While helping with sun and digital glare is valuable, for many, a Crizal anti-glare coating is most helpful when driving at night. Crizal provides safer, more comfortable nighttime driving. Night vision can be problematic for people with astigmatisms and can deteriorate for all of us as we age. Sometimes eyes don’t adjust between bright light and darkness as quickly as they need to. Streetlights, taillights, and especially oncoming headlights can make seeing well in the dark after the glare more difficult. A Crizal coating cuts the glare, allowing quicker adjustment back and forth between bright and dark conditions. If roads are wet and the light reflects off the water and into a driver's eyes, the glare can be even more dangerous, and Crizal helps with that.

The Crizal thin coat finish does more than prevent glare and improve night vision. It also helps reduce damage to lenses from smudges, dust, water, and scratches. People, especially children and athletes, who are particularly rough on their glasses benefit tremendously from the special finish. By preventing damage, wearers see better longer and need to replace their glasses less often.

Which is Better, Varilux vs. Crizal?

While people don't necessarily need to choose between Varilux and Crizal because they can certainly have both, each product offers certain populations more benefits. Varilux lenses help anyone who needs correction for both myopia or nearsightedness and presbyopia or farsightedness. People with astigmatisms, which are distortions of the eye and farsightedness, can also get progressive lenses like Varilux. Many people have all three conditions by the time they are in their 40s or 50s, and progressive lenses make their lives easier. If someone has tried bifocals and struggles with disorientation and dizziness or needs clear middle-distance vision, Varilux progressive lenses are ideal. Crizal-coated lenses are appropriate for all three vision correction needs but are especially good for those with poor night vision. Although older people struggle with night vision, even young people with astigmatism have trouble adjusting between bright light and darkness at night. Stigmatism affects the shape of the cornea. Instead of the normal sphere shape, the cornea becomes more egg or football-shaped. The distortion changes how the eye interprets light and can cause headaches and eye strain without treatment. A Crizal coating allows eyes with astigmatism to properly focus on the visible light coming in, allowing for better night vision and adjustment between electronic screen and bookwork.

When it comes to Varilux vs. Crizal lenses, one helps wearers who need glasses to see both near and far, and the other helps people cope with glare, especially at night. Keep in mind that you can order eyeglasses with Varilux lenses and Crizal coating to get all the benefits they each offer.

Explore Varilux and Crizal lens products at 39dollarglasses.com.